Plastic on the Ganges

National Geographic

Approximately nine million tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans and water systems every year, threatening ecosystems, wildlife and the health of billions of people. Dive into our 3-part VR series about the impact of plastics on everyday life along the river Ganges in India, to get a better understanding of the problem.

What does plastic pollution look like for families living along the Ganges in India? The goal with this VR-series was to give a glimpse into the lives downstream of a polluted river, and what it means for the world.

The Story

The three episodes take you to several small and large communities along the river Ganges, where you get to meet the people whose lives are inextricably intertwined with plastic as a material – just like most of us.

Ganga Sanhi is featured in the episode called ‘The Living River’

The first episode of the VR series takes you to a small rural community outside of Kannauj in India. This village represents thousands of similar communities along the river that live in close connection to the water, depending on it for their livelihood and as a food and water supply. The series continues to feature Ganga Sanhi, fisherman and father in the second episode. He lives in a community on the very banks of the river Ganges in that relies on fishing for sustenance. For closure, the third and final episode features scientist Heather Koldewey that gives her perspective on what needs to be done to turn the tide on plastic pollution - in the Ganges, and the world.

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Services we have provided

Story development

We specialize in developing stories for immersive formats, letting the audience step into the story and interact with it.

Immersive production

We capture, produce and publish content within all fields of the immersive space - from 360-video to interactive virtual reality.

3D and Reality Capture

We bring back high-resolution 3D assets from all over the world, using photogrammetry, lidar and reality capture.

End user experience

The user gets transported to another time and place, and experiences the story told from other people’s perspective. With voice-over narration that simulates these characters thoughts, you get to be close to their stories and understand how they view the world. The series has primarily been used in VR headsets at events and live on-stage shows with National Geographic while communicating on plastic pollution.


The Plastic on the Ganges VR series has been used as part of the large ‘Planet or Plastic’ campaign by National Geographic, for advocacy and awareness campaigns in the US and abroad.

Working with Martin and the team at IVAR has been both a joy and an honor. In addition to the incredible technical skills, creative vision, and reliable execution they bring to the table, the IVAR team is also a pleasure to work with. They are open communicators, excellent problem-solvers, and together we’ve created award-winning, immersive impact films for the National Geographic Society, introducing audiences to people and places they may never otherwise have the opportunity to learn from. I truly can’t wait for our next collaboration.
Sarah Joseph
National Geographic Society

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